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[News Article] LG Energy Solution to market Tesla-like 'dry coating' technology by 2028


LG Energy Solution to market Tesla-like 'dry coating' technology by 2028



BY SARAH CHEA, Korea JoongAng Daily - LG Energy Solution plans to market dry-coating technology, considered by the auto industry to be a cost-cutting game changer in the battery-making process, by 2028 in a desperate move to combat fast-growing Chinese players.


The technology, in which Tesla remains a pioneer, is a process that can replace the energy-intensive wet process to make cathode and anode electrodes, the key ingredient in EV batteries. The technology can cut energy consumption in production by 30 percent and space by 50 percent.


Kim estimated that the dry method can cut battery-manufacturing costs by between 17 percent to 30 percent, the report said.


Tesla made a move for the technology in 2019 by acquiring dry-coating startup Maxwell Technologies. The EV maker has implemented the technology to produce its “4680” cylindrical batteries in Texas, but success has been limited.


Samsung SDI is exerting efforts to develop the technology to be used in its new 46-series cylindrical batteries, which have a 46-millimeter (1.8-inch) diameter.


Volkswagen is also working on it through its subsidiary PowerCo.


LG Energy Solution is losing its share in the global battery market to Chinese firms like CATL and BYD, dropping to 12.6 percent this year from 14.6 percent last year.


The battery maker almost slipped into the red in the first quarter, with an operating loss of 31.6 billion won ($22.9 million) staved off with tax credits from the U.S. Inflation Reduction Act.


LG Energy Solution CEO Kim Dong-myung on Thursday emphasized that it is "time to control the speed of investment" in a letter to employees.


"We have staked a claim in the market through aggressive investment and business expansion, but it's the cold light of reality that profit is falling amid sluggish EV demand," Kim said. "It's time to overhaul our product portfolio and accelerate the move toward an organizational transformation."


The battery maker recently halted construction of its battery production line for energy storage systems in Arizona seven months after breaking ground in reaction to the stalling EV market.